A STORY ABOUT A REAL MAN 21 T> The soldier looked round guiltily and, hunching his shoulders to adjust his brand-new greatcoat, began to push his way out of the crowd. "You are right! We've lost a lot of ground," sighed another man, and shaking his head bitterly, he exclaimed: "Ekh!" Here an old man in a canvas dust-coat, a village school- teacher or, perhaps, a country doctor, spoke up in defence of the soldier: "Why blame him? Is it his fault? How many of them have been killed already! Look at the force that's pushing against us! The whole of Europe—and in tanks! How can you hold that up all at once? By rights we ought to go down on our knees and thank that boy that we are still alive and walking freely about Moscow. Look how many countries the fascists have trampled with their tanks within a week! But we have been fighting for over a year and we are still hitting back—and how many we have laid out! The whole world ought to go down on its knees to that boy! And you say 'back away'." "I know, I know, for God's sake don't give me any prop- aganda! My mind knows it, but my heart aches fit to burst!" answered the railwayman gloomily. "It's our land the Germans are trampling, it's our homes they are de- stroying!" "Is he there?1' asked Anyuta, pointing to the southern part of the map, "Yes. And she's there, too," answered Alexei. Right on the blue loop of the Volga, above Stalingrad, he saw a dot over which was the inscription "Kamyshin". For him it was something more than a dot on the map. The vision rose before his eyes of a small green town, grassy suburban streets, poplar-trees with rustling, shiny, dusty leaves, the smell of dust, fennel and parsley coming from wattle-fenced vegetable plots, the round, striped melons looking as if they had been scattered among the dried leaves on the dry earth of the melon patches, the wind of the steppe impregnated with the pungent smell of wormwood, the indescribable shining expanse of the river, a graceful, grey-eyed, sun-tanned girl, and his mother, grey-haired and helplessly fussy----- "They're both there," he repeated.